Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Yellow Balloon

One game we play in the car when the girls start to, whine, pick on eachother, or start in with the Why???? questions is, I Spy. And let me tell you playing I Spy while you're traveling South on I-5 is a challenge if for no other reason then limited objects. Ummm I spy a tree, a red truck, a freeway sign....

If only we had the perspective of The Yellow Balloon by Charlotte Dematons to play with! This large picture book with no text is a treasure trove of recognizable images mixing contemporary and historical references in the same scenes. And it's an around the world adventure!

The book opens to endpapers showing a blue truck leaving home and traveling down a quiet road, but what a road trip! If you look closely (and you have to look closely) you will see a little yellow balloon flying out the window of the truck. Turn the page and the balloon is released. Now we have to find it on all full spread pages.
OK don't expect the images to be historically, culturally or regionally correct. Does it matter that a totem pole is in a Plains Indians camp or that the highway and ferry boat are just across the river from knights fighting in a medieval village, or that you can find little red riding hood all in the same scene?

Here is a link to a 1st grade school project using the Yellow Balloon for a lit trip. This book will be most exciting for children who have the schema for for this around the world adventure, magic carpet rides, angels and alien spaceships included : )

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